Just for fun, let's look at what RIM should have done, and compare it to what RIM actually did.
What RIM should have done:
- Accept that the company is facing severe challenges.
- Accept that management is at least partly at fault for these challenges.
- Accept that no one outside the building is inspired by the products they're making now or have announced for the near future.
- Break with the past: introduce a new leader with strong credentials, recruited from a rival, who comes in with a bold plan for the future.
- Continue to change the story by talking about how future products will be different, radically different, in a way that holds out the prospect of leap-frogging the competition and competing with iOS and Android in the next generation.
What RIM actually did:
- Continue on with the unconvincing story that there's nothing wrong with the Blackberry product line, they just need to improve on execution.
- Move the co-CEO's into new positions where they will be able to continue to exert a great deal of influence on company direction.
- Bring in a CEO from just down the hall -- he was formerly the COO -- and allow him to talk with no visible passion about how he's going to maintain the company's direction.
- Offer extremely unconvincing arguments that the company's problems can be solved with better marketing.
Ultimately a company's communications come from the C-level heart; even if you have a strong story to tell, you can't keep your CEO on message if he really, truly believes something different. And this is why RIM is doomed: they've lost 75% of their market value over the last four years, but they still think that they're right and Apple is wrong.